Gaussin, Allain (b. November 6, 1943, Saint-Sever-Calvados). French composer of mostly orchestral and chamber works that have been performed throughout Europe and in the Americas, Asia and Australia; he is also active as a poet.
Prof. Gaussin initially studied chemistry, mathematics and physics, but chose music at age 20. He studied composition with Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris from 1966–76, where he graduated with premier prix in analysis, composition and writing. He also privately studied piano with Hélène Boschi from 1964–66 and conducting with Louis Fourestier in 1966–67, as well as electroacoustic music with Pierre Schaeffer at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris in 1974–75 and IRCAM in 1984.
Among his many honors are a scholarship from the Académie de France to stay at the Villa Medici in Rome (1977–79), two SACEM prizes (1983, 1989), a scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (1985), and sponsorships from the Fondation Beaumarchais (1991) and the Association Orcofi (1992). He has also earned a scholarship from the Villa Kujoyama in Kyōto (1994), the Grand Prix International du Disque from the Académie Charles Cros (1995, for the recording of Irisation-Rituel, Camaïeux and Arcane) and the Premio ICONS in Turin (1998, for Mosaïque céleste).
As a poet, he has written many poems for his own musical use, most of which appear in the books Transes et Lumière (1976, unpublished) and L'attente... L'absolu (2004, éditions d'écarts).
He taught composition and orchestration at the Schola Cantorum in Paris from 1981–92 and has taught as Professeur de Composition et d'Orchestration at the Conservatoire de Sevran since 1993. He taught as a professor of composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in 2003–04. In addition, he has given seminars at Darmstadt (1986, 1988), the University of Ōsaka (1994), the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon (1998), the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (1998, 2001), the University of Kyōto (2003), and the University of Tokyo (2003). Moreover, he has participated in the research group on rhythm at IRCAM since 2003 and has given an annual composition seminar at the Académie Américaine in Fontainebleau since 2004.
Cézame-Argile, À Cur Joie, Éditions Leduc, Éditions Salabert, and Heugel publish his music.
COMPLETE LIST OF WORKS
STAGE: Désert (metaphysical tale, texts by Lao-tzu, Farid Uddin Attar, Blaise Pascal, Edmond Jabès), countertenor, 2 dancers, 2 comedians, clarinet, 2 MIDI-keyboards, 2 percussion, tape, 1995–2000
ORCHESTRAL: Ogive, harpsichord, 12 strings, 1977 (also version without harpsichord, 1977; versions for flute, harpsichord; flute, piano; violin, piano); Éclipse, 2 pianos, small orchestra (16 players), 1979; Années-lumière, large orchestra (98 players), 1992–93
CHAMBER MUSIC: Ogive, flute, harpsichord, 1977 (version of orchestral work; also versions for flute, piano, 1987; violin, piano, 1992); Colosseo, 6 percussion, 1978; Eau-forte, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, 1982; Camaïeux, electric guitar, 3 synthesizers, percussion, 4-track tape, 1983; Chakra, string quartet, 1984; Ariane, cello, 2-track tape, 1987; Mosaïque céleste (concerto de chambre), flute (+ piccolo), oboe (+ English horn), 2 clarinets (both + bass clarinet), French horn, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, cello, double bass, 1997; Satori, clarinet, 1998; Jardin Zen, clarinet, 2-track tape, 1999 (one section may be performed separately: Méditation tendue, clarinet); Envol nuptial, clarinet/violin, piano, 2004; L'Harmonie des Sphères, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion, 2006
CHORAL: Vent solaire (text by the composer), soprano, speaker, mixed chorus (minimum 100 voices), 3 French horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, piano, 3 percussion, 2-track tape, 1974; Source 4 (text by the composer), any 4 equal female voices, 1973; Solstice (text by the composer), mixed chorus, 1975
VOCAL: Irisation-Rituel (text by the composer), soprano, speaker ad libitum, flute, large orchestra (78 players), 1980; Les voix de la mémoire (text by the composer), voice, 1985; L'aphorisme de Ciorán (text by the composer), speaker, piano, 1991
PIANO: Arcane, 1981, revised 1988; Tokyo-city, 2008
ELECTROACOUSTIC: Nature et Apocalypse selon Ouhi Cha (sound installation), 1985 (collaboration with Ouhi Cha); Poussières d'étoile, CD, 1994; Xébec Hall, CD, 1996
FILM SCORE (DIRECTOR): J'ai voulu rire comme les autres, 1979 (Bernard Dubois)
DIDACTIC MUSIC: Saint Guilhem le désert, 3 guitars, 1989; La chevelure de Bérénice, flute/oboe/clarinet/soprano saxophone, 1990; Io, piano, 1991
Éclipse; Ogive (version for flute, harpsichord); Eau-forte. Pierre-Yves Artaud, flute; Elisabeth Chojnacka, harpsichord; Jean-Louis Petit/Atelier Musique de Ville d'Avray; Peter Eötvös/Ensemble Intercontemporain (Disques Arpège-Calliope, 1983)
Chakra. Arditti String Quartet (Montaigne Auvidis: MO 782002, 1991)
Irisation-Rituel; Arcane; Camaïeux. Irène Jarsky, soprano; Pierre-Yves Artaud, flute; Jay Gottlieb, piano; Yves Prin/Itinéraire; Peter Eötvös/Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique (Disques Salabert/Harmonia Mundi, 1995)
Ogive (version for flute, piano). Chiharu Tachibana, flute; Takehiko Yamada, piano (Disques REM, 1996)
Ogive (version for flute, harpsichord). Mie Ogura, flute; Fuminori Tanada, harpsichord (Centre de Documentation de la Musique Contemporaine, 1997)
(Last updated on January 17, 2007)